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How do French Women Stay so Slim? Do they all follow the Dukan diet?

Article by Fabafterfifty

slim French woman inParisI spend a lot of time in France (my husband is French), and it never ceases to amaze me that all the wives and partners of his friends are able to eat well (and seemingly without guilt) when we go to restaurants, and yet they stay so slim. So as I watch them enjoy their ‘fondant chocolat’ for dessert, while I look longingly on, I can never work out quite how they do it!

I love to shop, but hate shopping in Paris or Cannes, where the shop assistants look me up and down and reach out for a larger size. I’m a size 12 (UK), yet am made to feel like Two Ton Tessie. While trying a dress on recently, which was admittedly a little snug on the hips, the assistant even suggested that perhaps I should eat a protein diet if I wanted it to fit! I used be size 8 – 10, so would like to get back to a 10.

So, I was delighted to see in last week’s Daily Mail an introduction to the Dukan diet. It is claimed that this is the protein diet kept secret by our French counterparts for the past decade.
The diet has 4 stages- 2 to lose weight, and 2 to consolidate the loss and stabilise your weight (for life!)

The initial ‘attack’ phase it seems, is based on limiting yourself to only protein at mealtimes, drinking lots of water and walking for 20 minutes a day. This stage can be followed for 5 – 10 days depending on how much weight you need to lose.

As my jeans were feeling a little less comfortable than normal, I decided to give it a go.  The book is not out for another 2 weeks, so I have had to rely on the DM articles and bits and pieces I’ve found on the internet.

I’m on Day 4, and so far so good. Sticking my list of  meat, fish, eggs, fat free yoghurt and cottage cheese, lots of water and no alcohol! My shopping trolley at the supermarket looked a little bare- I am normally a big fruit and vegetable eater, so  I missed my array of colour !

So, I’ve had eggs for breakfast, cottage cheese and chives (followed by fat free yoghurt) for lunch and either chicken or fish for dinner (followed by another fat free yoghurt). I will try to get a little more creative with the menu – smoked salmon omelette is one suggestion!

Surprisingly I have found it easy to stick to, I haven’t felt deprived , even knowing that alcohol isn’t allowed hasn’t been a problem- so far. I have more energy and am also fitting in the walk.

I never weigh myself, preferring to rely on the ‘jeans test’.  I am looking forward to the weekend for 2 reasons, 1. I shall try on my jeans and see what progress I’ve made, and 2. I can start adding vegetables every other day!

I will keep you posted!

Ceri Wheeldon

Ceri is Founder and Editor of Fabafterfifty.co.uk She is a frequent speaker at events and in the media on topics related to women over 50 , including style and living agelessly. With 20+ years experience as a headhunter Ceri also now helps support those looking to extend their working lives.

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